Published: Mar 01, 2013 04:11 PM
Modified: Mar 01, 2013 04:12 PM
CHAPEL HILL - Chapel Hill Transit, the second-largest transit system in North Carolina, is planning a big celebration to welcome the arrival of 15 new low-emission, diesel electric hybrid buses at 12:30 p.m. Saturdayat University Mall.
Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt and U.S. Rep. David Price will be joined by local leaders to officiate the ribbon cutting ceremony to take place in the parking lot outside Dillard's department store.
The fleet acquisition was made possible through a $7.47 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration and $1.53 million from the NC Department of Transportation and Chapel Hill Transit Partners (UNC-Chapel Hill, Town of Chapel Hill and Town of Carrboro). The new diesel-electric buses are powered by an internal combustion clean diesel engine paired with a generator, electric motor, and electric storage system.
"We are excited to provide better service to the community while helping the environment too," said Brian Litchfield, interim director of Chapel Hill Transit. "The new hybrid buses allow us to replace older buses that have exceed their useful life span."
The 40-foot long hybrid buses, built by Gillig LLC in Hayward, Calif., meet the most current clean air standards issued by the Environmental Protection Agency. There are currently 99 fixed-route buses in the Chapel Hill Transit fleet, including 29 hybrids.
The ribbon cutting ceremony is one of several events occurring at "Spring Ahoy," the Town of Chapel Hill Services Fair that will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at University Mall. Entertainment will include performances from the Bouncing Bulldogs, Triangle Youth Ballet and more. There will be fun activities, including a scavenger hunt that encourages participants to visit Town services booths and enter a prize drawing for tickets to a UNC Tar Heels vs. Florida State basketball game.
A community design workshop for the Central West Focus Area will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. To locate the workshop, enter the mall near Roses' department store, and follow the signs to the workshop.
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